How to convert your mountain bike to the city?

Surely many of you will have a mountain bike, yet you never go to the mountain. You use it mainly to move around the city. This situation is not uncommon, as mountain bikes are one of the most common on the market. This is because they are so sold, mainly because of their versatility and because of the wide price range with which they can be found.

Can we use a mountain bike in the city?

We can, but we must know certain things. The mongoose 26 mountain bike is one of the most versatile bikes on the market and can be used in different terrains. We will see how to change a mountain bike for the city and use it well in the city.

As the name implies, these bikes were designed for the mountains. Each type of mountain bike has characteristics that give it advantages in the different terrains and uses for which they were conceived.

How to convert your mountain bike to the city?

In general, mountain bikes are characterized by having thick tires and a tread that provides better traction on loose or muddy terrain. Being designed to cover rough terrain full of obstacles, today, the vast majority of these bikes are equipped with full suspension or only on the fork.

What changes need to be made?

We must first talk about those changes that do not affect the appearance of our mountain bike as such. That is to say, the changes that we must make so that it is more useful to us when we are in the city. The first and most important of these changes is to change the tires. We should always use a tire with greater width and a lower pressure for better grip on asphalt. In addition, it is advisable to add a bell, since in the city there is nothing worse than having a bicycle and not knowing how to warn people before passing. A good idea would also be to add a bike hook. We can use it for greater stability when we park our bicycles and prevent us from the problem of broken chains.

Changes must be made ​​in appearance

Regarding changes in appearance, there is nothing to do but change the handlebars. There are bars specifically designed for city use, which will give our bicycle a more recommended look and we will have greater control of it when we drive in traffic or on difficult terrain such as cobblestones.

Types of mountain bikes:

  • Trail
  • All Mountain
  • Cross country
  • Downhill
  • Free-ride
  • Dirt jump

In the city, the situation is very different since the road is generally paved and the obstacles we encounter are sidewalks, bumps, and potholes. In this type of terrain, the mountain bike is not as efficient as other types of bicycles. However, there are some modifications that we can make to make it more practical and obtain greater comfort in the city.

Tire change

One of the simplest modifications that we can make is a simple tire change. The ideal is a rim with a rather smooth tread.

Mountain tire studs are designed to dig into loose terrain for better traction. On a hard surface, such as pavement, these studs do not bury themselves, so they provide a smaller contact surface for the tire with the ground and absorb part of the movement’s energy when compressed.

In contrast, a smooth tread increases the contact area with the surface and gives us better traction on smooth terrain and less resistance, resulting in a more efficient movement. On the other hand, the tread of a mountain tire will wear out quickly if used on the street.

Splash guards

When one uses the bicycle in the city, it is very likely to be to go to work, school, the cinema or even a wedding. In any case, I don’t think anyone likes to arrive with a muddy back and legs or, at best, with a watermark on the back.

Mountain bikes generally do not come equipped with fenders or fenders when you go to the mountains, apart from the fact that getting a little dirty is part of the fun and the fenders can become a hindrance since the mud can accumulate on them and add a few kilos to the bike.

If you are going to use your mountain bike in the city, especially in the rainy season, a recommendation is to equip the bike with fenders. Whether they are fixed or “take off.”

The best thing is to go to the bike shop and try the different options. If you change the tires, there is not much problem, but if your tires are very wide, it is likely best to go for the fenders of the “removable” type.

Grills, baskets, and saddlebags

Every urban cyclist has to transport something at some point. The easiest thing is to put it in the backpack and that’s it. However, there are more practical and comfortable ways to transport our cargo on a bicycle.


The racks are a very practical way to transport our packages, since unlike carrying them in a backpack, the load’s center of gravity is lower, which gives us greater stability when moving. The racks are generally installed at the rear of the bike, although there are front racks. Personally, I don’t like city front grills as they affect the handling of the bike a bit.


The layettes will certainly make life easier for the urban cyclist. As easy as placing the load and start, without the need to tie or close clasps. The downside is that the load is exposed to the media and wobbles a bit, but there are racks that you can attach directly to the rack and others that clip between the telescope and the steering post. Like the front grills, the latter can affect the control of the bike a bit.


A saddlebag is a kind of backpack or suitcase that is hooked to the sides of the racks. Many of the saddlebags that we can find on the market are waterproof, which helps us keep our cargo dry at all times. These attachments are an excellent option to make our transfers in the city more efficient.

Handlebar change

The mountain bike’s geometry makes the rider adopt a more aerodynamic position. Not as much as on a road bike, but the body has a considerable lean forward.

A more upright position is achieved if the handlebars are changed for one with a higher rise and that runs more towards the rider. This position is more comfortable as most of the weight is on the seat and the arms can relax a bit. In addition, an upright position provides better visibility to the cyclist and also makes it more visible to other vehicles and pedestrians.

In some cases, to achieve an optimum position, it may be necessary to change the handlebar post or power with whips and changes linings and brakes.


As already mentioned, today, most mountain bikes come equipped with suspension. Especially those bikes with rear suspension are inefficient when traveling in the city since part of the energy that we apply to the pedal is absorbed by the shock absorber.

Some systems can crash. If your suspension system does not have this feature, the recommendation is to adjust it to be as rigid as possible.

Some of the specially designed city bikes have a shock absorber on the seat post. So if your bike does not have a damping system and the bumps in the road make you suffer a little, it is best to buy a seat post with this system.

You already know, if you have a mountain bike, you can turn it into a whole city bike by following these tips. Of course, you don’t need to make all of these changes or do all of them at once, but I guarantee you will feel the difference. For more information stay tuned to Outdoorxsports and get more bike repairing information and tips.

Joe Hammonds

Hi, I am Joe; I am an entrepreneur, father, mentor, and adventurer passionate about life.
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